Should Smoking Be Banned in Apartment Buildings?

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Should Smoking Be Banned in Apartment Buildings?

Post by onlyecig on Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:17 am

Smoking bans in public places like offices, restaurants, and bars are becoming commonplace in many parts of country but although they always seem to stir up plenty of controversy a recent essay by The New England Journal of Medicine is making even more waves than usual by calling for smoking bans in all public housing units.

The paper cites the fact that secondhand smoke “doesn’t know to stop at a door” and that studies found “measurable levels of nicotine in the apartments of nonsmokers.” Apparently smoke can not only travel into hallways and creep under doors but it also wafts through air ducts and elevator shafts, and seeps through walls and floor boards — basically smokes flows where ever air does and eventually contaminates the entire building. Even scarier? Not all the deadly compounds in smoke come with the telltale smell, so you might be getting exposed even if you don’t smell or see any evidence.

Smoker’s rights advocates call the idea of banning smoking in public housing a violation of people’s privacy and their right to do what they want inside their own homes. They say it’s all part of an agenda for a smoke-free society.

I very much believe in protecting a person’s right to privacy while they’re inside their own residence but those rights don’t extend to behavior that endangers the health of others. One reason you can’t shoot a gun off inside an apartment is because the bullet could fly through the wall and hurt someone in another unit. So if smoke travels outside the apartment too what’s the difference? We know it’s deadly. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke and the key word here is public housing. There are all kinds of rules you have to follow when you rent or buy an apartment (or condo) such as no waterbeds, no grills on wooden balconies, no loud music, no (or limited) pets, etc., and I think ‘no smoking’ should be definitely be among them.

What’s your take?
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onlyecig

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